Caribbean seawater air conditioning feasibility studied

Makai Ocean Engineering has completed a feasibility study of a district cooling system that uses deep cold seawater, known as seawater air conditioning (SWAC). Commissioned by the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) with co-financing from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), eight locations in the Caribbean were analyzed for SWAC development under the study.

Deep seawater can be as cold as 5°C or 41°F, even in the tropics, and the benefits of SWAC include  energy savings approaching 90% compared to conventional A/C.

Subsequently two sites were selected as the most promising locations for SWAC development: Montego Bay in Jamaica, and Puerto Plata (pictured) in the Dominican Republic.

In order to determine the relative economic value of SWAC versus conventional A/C, the Makai Economic, Thermal, and Hydraulic Optimization and Design software, or METHODTM software was used.

The study results suggest that SWAC development is likely to be economically attractive in these two locations.

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